With the acquisition of the Sandstone Ranch, the County not only preserved one of Douglas County’s most historic properties but simultaneously also faced the challenge of preservation and protection of Sandstone Ranch along with providing public access.
The Master Plan provides a strong vision for the property, including public access, while preserving the property’s cultural and historic assets, historic ranching operations, wildlife habitat and movement corridors, as well as the Pike National Forest connectivity, and other natural resources.
In order to gather public input on the various priorities for preservation and identify the appropriate uses for the ranch, including public access, the County conducted an online survey in the fall of 2018. There were 804 participants representing residents from Highlands Ranch, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Parker, Sedalia, Franktown, Larkspur, and neighbors from Keene Ranch, Perry Park, and Valley Park, as well as other areas.
The survey contained questions regarding:
- the frequency the participants visited open space
- how they use open space
- priorities for protection
- importance of natural, historic and cultural resources, wildlife habitats, and historic ranching operations
- types of public activities would be appropriate on the ranch,
- any primary concerns
In addition, detailed studies were conducted over two years by volunteer professionals on natural resources, wildlife, history, archaeology, forest management, noxious weed control, and ranching operations. The results of these studies were utilized, along with the survey results, to develop the Sandstone Ranch Master Plan.
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